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September 10, 2022 / by Kay / In classes

Circus vs the gym

Circus succeeds where gyms fail. A bold statement!

The rationale is that people stick with aerial and acrobatic classes, whereas they might buy memberships at gyms only to stare at their unused training shoes with a toxic mix of guilt and self-reproach.

Why do people love trapeze, silks, rope, hoop, pole, acrobalance, trampoline and tumbling? Perhaps mostly because circus training doesn’t seem like a chore. Its playfulness provides a happy sense of feeling “I get to do this today”, instead of a downbeat “I’ve got to do this today”.

And results? Well, if you show up regularly for circus training rather than intending to go to the gym and ending up on the sofa watching TV or leaning on a bar with a G&T in your hand instead, it’s a no brainer. Your health and fitness status will improve more with the circus option.

Weight loss or gain is not really the goal with circus training. BUT, it happens anyway. As your mind is busy learning techniques, tricks and transitions then using them in interesting sequences, your body is busy replacing fat with muscle.

You become leaner, stronger and fitter – assuming you don’t go home and eat your body weight in Haagen Dasz. If one of your personal ambitions is to get yourself a ripped bod, you can definitely achieve that without the reps race at the gym.

Because circus training is more creative and free-flowing, it hooks you if you don’t love routines. And it offers a wonderful opportunity to free the mind if your work involves repetitive tasks (no matter how lofty their application).

The potential for variety is endless. Note: it’s not that the potential is limited only by your imagination, because if you feel yourself to be limited in that department, there are plenty of people around who can be creative on your behalf.

The satisfaction comes from performing a trick that wasn’t possible a few weeks earlier, rather than another 10kg or 10 reps.

And yet another name for circus arts is ‘disciplines’. This isn’t about externally applied discipline, which all too often results in resentment and rebellion.

This is voluntarily adopted self-discipline. You build it gradually along with flexibility, upper body muscles, core strength, balance, coordination, confidence and concentration.

When you love something, when you truly enjoy doing it, you often become focused without even realising it. You become immersed in it. Time disappears. When the end of a session comes around, you’re looking forward to the next time, the next step in your development.

Each new challenge is developing your resilience and stamina, and opening new pathways in your brain as you become able to pull off spectacular moves which can take weeks or months to master.

So. Stuck in a rut at work or in workouts? You know what to do.

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